Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New 5K in Town: Charles "Peanut" Tillman 5K

We cheer for him on NFL Sundays, now Peanut
Tillman cheers for runners at his inaugural 5K.
It's kind of hard to get excited about running when it's freezing outside. You don't want to bundle up. You don't want to slip on the ice. You don't want to get all the way to the path only to wish you had your snowshoes instead of your running shoes. You don't want to race in the bitter cold that accompanies a morning start. And even the treadmill is getting boring--really boring. OK, so maybe that's just me and how I deal with this craziness nicknamed Chiberia.

But yesterday my eyes perked up at Universal Sole's announcement of the Charles Tillman 5K coming to Chicago on Saturday, March 8. A new running race and one that's not happening in the always jam-packed summer? It's love at first read. Here's why I'm psyched.

  1. I love new running races--a chance to try something new--as much as I love powder days. Maybe even a little more. While I haven't taken action yet, I'm super tempted to skip a ski weekend for this run.
  2. The race is on Saturday, March 8, at Lakeshore East (update: with a growing field of participants, the race will now start and end at Soldier Field). It has to warm up--even just a little--by then. Right? Let's hope so.
  3. Universal Sole is partnering with the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation to put on this race. If you've been to one of their Burgers and Beer fun runs or trail races, you know you're guaranteed to have a good time--and not go home hungry!
  4. Speaking of Charles "Peanut" Tillman, who's up for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year honors, he sounds like a class act. I say sounds because I've missed literally every other opportunity to run with him. He also landed the top spot on Huffington Post's 'nice' list to close out 2013.
  5. All of the proceeds from the race will go toward the Cornerstone Foundation, which helps hospitalized children including his own daughter when she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Talk about running for a worthy cause. 
  6. Runners might see more than just Peanut Tillman. It sounds like the entire Tillman family will be in tow as well as some other Chicago Bears players.
  7. For me, this race could be my chance to shoot for a faster 5K time, something I attempted to do at last year's Ravenswood 5K--and did for the first mile--until I tweaked something and practically dragged half my body across the finish line (we don't like to relive that race much). This winter I've been running at altitude (a good old 6,000 to 7,000 feet up depending on which path or treadmill I'm tackling for the day) so it'll be nice to run where it's flat and my lungs aren't fighting for air most of the time. 
Go to runningguru.com to get registered and start counting down the days to warmer weather. After all, the temperatures can't get much worse than what we've already suffered through...especially come March.

Photo grabbed from Jeffrey Beall at flickr

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